The Great Paris Concert [Atlantic]

Duke Ellington

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The Great Paris Concert [Atlantic] Review

by Bruce Eder

This set came about, in part, as a result of Ellington's signing to Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in November 1962, with the ending of his exclusive contract to Columbia. Six numbers from the three Paris dates were initially edited and released by Reprise as part of the ten-song Duke Ellington's Greatest, but the bulk of the performances from those shows didn't surface until many years later as The Great Paris Concert on two LPs. The Great Paris Concert is raw and largely unedited, and depicts the full Ellington band in extraordinary form, oozing excitement -- from the saxophone showcase on opener "Rockin' in Rhythm," the various sections of the band take flight at different points throughout this set, which includes such contemporary numbers as Ellington's theme music for an all but forgotten television series, The Asphalt Jungle, and excerpts from Such Sweet Thunder. Johnny Hodges is showcased in several solos, most notably on "Suite Thursday," a work whose original studio incarnation he missed appearing on. Cootie Williams ("Tutti for Cootie"), Paul Gonsalves ("Cop Out"), Ray Nance ("Bula"), and Cat Anderson ("Jam with Sam") get their own moments in the spotlight.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Duke Ellington 01:52 SpotifyAmazon
2 Duke Ellington 03:47 SpotifyAmazon
3 Duke Ellington 02:58 SpotifyAmazon
4 Duke Ellington 04:18 SpotifyAmazon
5 Duke Ellington 02:35 SpotifyAmazon
6 Duke Ellington 04:08 SpotifyAmazon
7 Duke Ellington 02:31 SpotifyAmazon
8 Duke Ellington 02:31 SpotifyAmazon
9 Duke Ellington 03:39 SpotifyAmazon
10 Duke Ellington 02:50 SpotifyAmazon
11 Duke Ellington 03:55 SpotifyAmazon
12 Duke Ellington 06:25 SpotifyAmazon
13 Duke Ellington 05:22 SpotifyAmazon
14 Duke Ellington 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
15 Duke Ellington 02:41 SpotifyAmazon
16 Duke Ellington 06:58 SpotifyAmazon
17 Duke Ellington 04:42 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick